Voters want energy efficiency

Australians want governments to do more to support energy efficiency to help cut energy bills.

As Energy Ministers prepare to meet to discuss the National Energy Guarantee on Friday, YourLifeChoices research suggests that one of the biggest issues for retirees living within their means was spiralling energy costs.

YourLifeChoices received 5064 responses to 33 questions in our Retirement Income and Financial Literacy Survey and 18 per cent of respondents named energy costs as their number one challenge, second only to health insurance in terms of challenges.

This research is supported by a recent YouGov Galaxy survey of 1000 Australians that showed ‘investing in energy efficiency’ is the most popular policy that governments can introduce.

The YouGov survey found that 90 per cent of voters think that it is important or very important that governments help reduce household energy bills, with energy efficiency the most popular policy option.

Australian Council for Social Services Chief Executive Cassandra Goldie said the move to energy efficiency was particularly important for those on fixed incomes.

“Efforts to improve energy efficiency for low-income and disadvantaged households can mean that people on low incomes are not forced to choose between putting food on the table or heating their homes in the coming winter months,” Ms Goldie said.

“Upgrading an existing home from the equivalent of two stars to five stars can save a household $600 a year.

“Mandating energy efficient standards for rental properties and investing in energy efficiency measures for low-income households, will make a huge difference to energy stress, health and wellbeing.”

According to Property Council of Australia (PCA) Chief Executive Ken Morrison, governments are too preoccupied with increasing the supply of power.

“This is a wake-up call for Governments to move beyond the supply side of the energy debate,” Mr Morrison said.

“With the National Energy Guarantee now on the table, attention must also be given to driving down demand – because the cheapest energy is energy we don’t use.

“This survey shows the community recognises the benefits of energy efficiency and strongly supports common sense action to reduce their bills.”

What do you think? Would you like to see the Government do more to address energy efficiency? Should rental properties meet mandated efficiency standards?

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